On Cloud 9 at Caer Beris Manor - 11th - 14th November 2010

GAIA @ Caer Beris Manor

Posts to my blog this year and fishing time have really been limited and apologies for that but normal service should resume and the chase for the Grayling is now on.  My time and efforts this year have been taken up with GAIA (Game Angling Instructors Association)     and on Friday I passed my GAIC - Single handed assessment to finally become a Professional Game Angling Instructor.

This is however just the beginning and other qualifications are on the horizon of this incredible journey I have embarked on.

BFFI 2009 I approached a certain Mike Roden  and enquired about how to become a qualified Instructor and a date for the first casting lesson was set at Curlys Trout Fishery. At the end of the first session I was asked if I was up for giving it a go?, oh yes ! I confidently replied to Mike, not really knowing what lay ahead.   Mike took me under his wing and with his array of  knowledge & qualifications in the sport I knew I had a solid Mentor.  Many Thanks Mike for your time and effort on helping me achieve my goal.  Group mentoring sessions throughout the year and one to one sessions have dominated the past twelve months, coupled with my head in as many casting books and trawling through the net and closely watching casting dvds to gain as much information as possible.  It has truly become an obsession and I wouldn't change it for the world !.

The year and numerous lessons were broken up with various stints at the Game Fairs which all helped in gaining valuable experience in teaching. CLA, Chatsworth and the Midland game fair these I relished and the GAIA instructors were always on hand to guide me through any issues or concerns.  This association really want you to succeed and is always evident from the free knowledge given by any individual you talk to, and its a credit to now be part of.

The year was full of many ups and downs and It would be rather remiss of me to not mention the people who I have become great friends with and have shared these ups and down.  The lads from our mentoring group Mike Roden of course, my Dad, Richard,Mike L, Pat, Steve, Phil & Nigel.  This group has been a solid base from which to bounce around ideas and plenty of Piss taking along the way to break up the graft.  Cheers Gents for all your help and see you next week for another session. 

Not only is it the the guys in the mentoring group that have helped me through but also many more, I have become friends with many other members and ones who have also embarked on this journey, so here goes the Roll Call :- Gareth Lewis (well done mate !), Chris Aldred (Awesome APGAI achievement), fancy going fishing now gents?the Instructors that put time in and put us through our paces whether on the river or at the shows Louis Noble, Mark Roberts, Frank Williams, Alun,Terry, Kevin,Rob,Steve J a big thank you to all.

GAIA Workshops  - Briefing

Caer Beris Manor  - River Irfon
 The Friday was topped off with one or two drinks and into a number of workshops held throughout the day on Saturday to continue on the learning curve, workshops ran by Lesley Holmes,Philip Maher who are both at the pinnacle of the casting world  Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) Certified Master Fly Casting Instructors. A joy to watch and learn from, Frank Williams put new and existing instructors through a workshop 'How to identify the learning style of your clients and use different ways to “Get the message across”.  Something that I will be concentrating on more over the next few months and years.  The workshops were all day and invaluable experience at this early stage in my instructor journey.

Presentations on the Saturday were followed by one or two drinks in the evening, a great chance to practice your carpark casting with a rod tip section whilst consuming finest Irish malt or drinking a good Merlot.  An awesome evening !!!.  The weekend had been a great one and am looking forward to the next get together, this time a bit more relaxed. 

The Journey has well and truly started and long may it continue........."Living the GAIA dream".

See you on the river.

Until next time ...............................Tight Lines


  1. Well done Phil mate, you bloody deserved it!

    Great write up of a fantastic weekend...what have we let ourselves in for!?

    Great shot of 'position #2' as well Phil. That section of Irfon's going to stick with us for a while I think.

    Top marks again Phil! Now then, let's get some fishing done :)

    See you soon mate,


  2. Great post Phil, I may be off for a while, going for a liver reconditioning.....what a great weekend, may be free this Saturday for the fishing